All The Web’s A
      Game
Game mechanics and cognitive psychology
Yes, the whole
web is a game
 Even if not explicitly a game,
       it’s a meta game
What is a game?
   A system in which players engage in an
artificial conflict defined by rules that results
            in...
Doesn’t work here
Practically
       speaking...
A structured experience with rules, goals and fun.
Games tap into
our most primal
    instincts
You can see the same response patterns in
  chickens, mice, monkeys and people
Push lever,
      get pellet
  Most people are familiar with operant
conditioning and consistent reinforcement
           ...
Variable,
  intermittent
 reinforcement

 The most powerful way to manipulate behavior.
Set small or large outcomes withou...
So many possible
      outcomes




You’re not even sure how you win, just that you
  have a great chance of winning somet...
Old-style slot machine
Updating your status without being able to predict
      what action will cause that outcome.
Games engage us in
      flow


•   Just the right level of challenge

•   Not too much to discourage you

    •   Or too ...
Good games
    unfold
challenges over
     time
in conjunction with your evolving mastery
What are game
 mechanics?
The systems and features that make games
        fun, compelling, addictive
5 game mechanics
 for social media
•   Collecting

•   Points

•   Feedback

•   Exchanges

•   Customization
Collecting


•   Show me your stuff!

•   What matters to you

    •   Display of your time and effort

•   Comparable wit...
Ebay




Baseball Cards   Coupons
Completion Sets
emotionally-driven
completion sets rock
System Points
Social Points
Redeemable points




I’m not wasting my time, I’m earning points
Redeemable points
I’m not spending too much, I’m earning points
Leaderboards, levels


•   Leaderboards

    •   Usually not a great idea

•   Levels

    •   Shorthand for how many
    ...
Feedback
Frequent feedback accelerates mastery
Feedback adds fun




 Cooking Mama was only available for the
Nintendo DS and sold 1.6 million units the first
          ...
Feedback creates flow
Social Feedback
Drives Engagement
Exchanges


•   Structured social interaction

•   Very primal form of interaction in every
    game with >2 players

•   ...
Explicit Exchange
•   Facebook friends

•   Gifting




Words don’t always work as expression
Implicit Exchange
•   You don’t “have to” do it

•   The sociality of the public determines if
    you really have to.
Character Customization
Character Customization
Interface Customization
Progressive
comparison game




Set up on TV signals variable reward
     A game you know you’ll win
Where have I seen this?
Progressive
comparison game




Reinforced in hero section of the site
Progressive splash page




       scrolling, variable
         reinforcement
Wait a sec...




This information is completely unreliable
             Does it matter?
Progressive splash
What happens next?
Beware!
You must make sure that the game increases
mastery of the user, and moves them through
                 the system
How to make it
         practical

•   Find the completion sets and collections
    the audience already makes

•   Where ...
Have a lucky day!

              Michael Leis
                    x6487
                     @mleis
          blog.michael...
All the Web's a Game
All the Web's a Game
All the Web's a Game
All the Web's a Game
All the Web's a Game
All the Web's a Game
All the Web's a Game
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All the Web's a Game

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Combining the presentations of Amy Jo Kim, Any Beio, and my own insights, this shows a perspective on how social networks, systems, and even TV ads use game mechanics to create flow state and bring people through even the most complex processes, like the microsoft office suite.

Plenty of practical examples to ground the higher-level thinking, including xbox avatars, progressive insurance, Twitter, sims, slot machines, legos, doll houses, blackjack, and more.

Published in: Entertainment & Humor, Design

All the Web's a Game

  1. 1. All The Web’s A Game Game mechanics and cognitive psychology
  2. 2. Yes, the whole web is a game Even if not explicitly a game, it’s a meta game
  3. 3. What is a game? A system in which players engage in an artificial conflict defined by rules that results in a quantifiable outcome
  4. 4. Doesn’t work here
  5. 5. Practically speaking... A structured experience with rules, goals and fun.
  6. 6. Games tap into our most primal instincts You can see the same response patterns in chickens, mice, monkeys and people
  7. 7. Push lever, get pellet Most people are familiar with operant conditioning and consistent reinforcement schedules
  8. 8. Variable, intermittent reinforcement The most powerful way to manipulate behavior. Set small or large outcomes without being able to predict what action will cause that outcome.
  9. 9. So many possible outcomes You’re not even sure how you win, just that you have a great chance of winning something.
  10. 10. Old-style slot machine
  11. 11. Updating your status without being able to predict what action will cause that outcome.
  12. 12. Games engage us in flow • Just the right level of challenge • Not too much to discourage you • Or too little challenge to create apathy
  13. 13. Good games unfold challenges over time in conjunction with your evolving mastery
  14. 14. What are game mechanics? The systems and features that make games fun, compelling, addictive
  15. 15. 5 game mechanics for social media • Collecting • Points • Feedback • Exchanges • Customization
  16. 16. Collecting • Show me your stuff! • What matters to you • Display of your time and effort • Comparable with others • Bragging rights, social hierarchy
  17. 17. Ebay Baseball Cards Coupons
  18. 18. Completion Sets
  19. 19. emotionally-driven completion sets rock
  20. 20. System Points
  21. 21. Social Points
  22. 22. Redeemable points I’m not wasting my time, I’m earning points
  23. 23. Redeemable points I’m not spending too much, I’m earning points
  24. 24. Leaderboards, levels • Leaderboards • Usually not a great idea • Levels • Shorthand for how many points you have
  25. 25. Feedback Frequent feedback accelerates mastery
  26. 26. Feedback adds fun Cooking Mama was only available for the Nintendo DS and sold 1.6 million units the first nine months in the US.
  27. 27. Feedback creates flow
  28. 28. Social Feedback Drives Engagement
  29. 29. Exchanges • Structured social interaction • Very primal form of interaction in every game with >2 players • Call and response, taking turns
  30. 30. Explicit Exchange • Facebook friends • Gifting Words don’t always work as expression
  31. 31. Implicit Exchange • You don’t “have to” do it • The sociality of the public determines if you really have to.
  32. 32. Character Customization
  33. 33. Character Customization
  34. 34. Interface Customization
  35. 35. Progressive comparison game Set up on TV signals variable reward A game you know you’ll win
  36. 36. Where have I seen this?
  37. 37. Progressive comparison game Reinforced in hero section of the site
  38. 38. Progressive splash page scrolling, variable reinforcement
  39. 39. Wait a sec... This information is completely unreliable Does it matter?
  40. 40. Progressive splash
  41. 41. What happens next?
  42. 42. Beware! You must make sure that the game increases mastery of the user, and moves them through the system
  43. 43. How to make it practical • Find the completion sets and collections the audience already makes • Where can we turn ambiguous value exchange into the possibility of winning? • Look for the games that already exist. • How can we increase systematic feedback?
  44. 44. Have a lucky day! Michael Leis x6487 @mleis blog.michaelleis.com

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